As if poverty wasn’t already taxing enough, it turns out it may influence telomere length as well. A life of hardship is commonly known to take its toll and less financially blessed communities often suffer greater rates of chronic disease. Residents of Detroit from different racial groups and areas had their telomeres measured in a study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour which produced some interesting results:
Poor vs non-poor White communities showed stark differences in telomere length but African-American participants showed little variation and in Mexican groups the non-poor actually had shorter measurements than the poor.
The grouping variations are unexpected but variables such as levels of community support and cohesion as well as general stress exposure and different cultural coping practices might explain some of the divide.
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